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CAREER PATHWAYS

Start your aviation career in Hertsmere at Elstree Aerodrome

Helping aviation careers take off

At London Elstree Aerodrome, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to start a career in aviation. With such a wide range of opportunities in the industry, we encourage people of all backgrounds and skillsets to consider a future in aviation.

AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE

PILOTS & FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS

GROUND CREW

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL & FISOS

MANAGEMENT, SALES & ADMIN

London Elstree is home to a number of different businesses, from aircraft maintenance and pilot training schools to aviation craftsmen and aircraft leasing, as well as a popular café open 7 days a week - an ideal spot for planespotting! For almost 90 years, Elstree has been a place where people interested in aviation and engineering can develop their skills, succeed in their careers and share their passion.

Just 13 miles from Marble Arch on the Hertfordshire border, Elstree is central London's closest airfield, and our location helps us strike a positive work-life balance and allows us to engage the surrounding resident and business community in aviation and non-aviation activities and events, including public open days

The business residents at Elstree Aerodrome are keen to welcome new talent of all abilities, both on the ground and in the air, with some offering opportunities to become Flight Instructors, Licensed Aircraft Engineers, Flight Information Service Officers (FISO), Operations Assistants, and more. We are particularly keen to engage and retain top talent here in Hertsmere working closely with Hertfordshire's Opportunities Portal (HOP), supported by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). You'll find lots of inspiration on the HOP website and download our own Aviation Career Pathways Map to help you navigate your onward journey in general aviation. 

Aviation Career Pathways

Career Pathways Map

To help students and parents understand the various routes to a career in aviation, we have created this simplified Aviation Career Pathways Map to illustrate the various vocational and academic options available within the aviation industry as a whole.

[Download PDF

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Career Opportunities

Aviation Skills Recruitment Platform (ASRP) has also recently been relaunched, as part of the Transport for London recent Generation Aviation recruitment campaign and the wider aviation Flightpath to the future strategy, to signpost training, careers and opportunities for people looking to enter or move up in the industry.

TalentView Aviation is a place for talented individuals to find first jobs, educational courses, and other exciting opportunities and be seen by employers across the UK aviation industry.

HOP, Hertfordshire Careers Portal, also signposts local apprenticeships, jobs and courses available, including the function to filter your search within aviation.

Schools Projects

The Air League

We work closely with The Air League, the UK's leading aviation and aerospace charity, inspiring young people through their pioneering Soaring To Success programme.

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The Aviatrix Project

We work closely with Kanchana Gamage, Founder & Director of The Aviatrix Project, dedicated to ensuring women and girls have ample opportunities to achieve their aviation career dreams.

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Apprenticeships

Royal Aeronautical Society

RAeS has a range of useful information for people considering apprenticeships in Aerospace and Aviation via their Careers in Aerospace website.

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GOV.UK Search

Search for the keyword 'aviation' to help find the right apprenticeship opportunity for you in the UK.

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Further Education

Vocational Training (from GSCE level)

Oaklands College, St Albans

View Travel & Tourism Diplomas including an introduction to Cabin Crew.

West Herts College, Watford

View Travel & Aviation Diplomas including options around aviation operations.

North Hertfordshire College

View Travel & Tourism Diplomas in Hitchin, in close proximity to Stansted airport.

Higher Education

Academic Studies (A-Levels or equivalent required)

University of Hertfordshire

Under & Postgraduate degrees working with the de Havilland Aircraft Corporation and BAE Systems

University of West London

Under & Postgraduate degree courses including airline and airport management.

Brunel University

Under & Postgraduate degree courses in aerospace engineering, inc. research & PhD programmes.

Local Aviation Career Stories

We believe in growing new aviation talent within the local area. Read more about those who have built a career in the aviation industry on London's doorstep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the career opportunities within the aviation sector?  - Aircraft Maintenance/Engineer  - Ground Crew, Airfield Operations and Logistics - Commercial Pilots - Flight Instructors - FISO (Flight Information Service Officer) & Air Traffic Control - Cabin Crew - Emergency and Rescue Services - Military Roles - Plus many more auxiliary roles allowing Elstree Aerodrome to operate 24/7, 365 days a year

Q. What are the education pathways in aviation?  >On the ground:  - From school to vocational studies leading to full licences courses like AME (Aircraft Maintenance Engineer), ATC (Air Traffic Controller), Flight Dispatcher, Aviation Meteorologist, Flight Operations Engineer, Flight Simulation Engineer etc.   - From school to academic studies leading to be an aerospace engineer, flight test engineer, avionics engineer (enquire with Elstree Aviation about their apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Brunel University).   > In the air: - Pilot (Aeroplane & Helicopter) – Commercial, Airline, Business, Crop spraying, Air Ambulance, Police, Coast Guard, Military, Surveying etc.   - Cabin Crew 

Q. What skills/ education/ qualifications do you need?  > ​Do I need AAA in A-levels to be a Pilot/Engineer?  - A good level of Maths, Physics and English is recommended.   > Do you need to be an expert in Mathematics to be a Pilot/Engineer?   - No. However, a good fundamental understanding always helps. 

Q. How can Elstree Aerodrome help my aviation career?  - We're a growing aerodrome & heliport with plenty of tenant businesses offering opportunities including future flight feasibility, developing sustainable operations, plus management, FISOs, flight training, ground crew, maintenance and engineering and consultancy work. We always advise schools to contact The Air League and The Aviatrix Project to engage students in a future aviation career. For individuals, our cafe is open to the public 7 days a week or take a look at the list of resident aviation businesses at Elstree Aerodrome.

Q. Where could a career in aviation take me? ​ - Common roles including Flight Instructor, Corporate/Business Pilot, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Air Traffic Controller, Ground Handling, Flight Navigator, Flight Dispatcher, Aviation Meteorologist   - With big name employers including Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, MBDA, BAE Systems, Leonardo, Safran, easyJet, Ryanair - Across the world with employers in the USA, EU countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand  - Working on exciting future growth opportunities (i.e. VTOL - vertical take off and landing, green flight, aerospace etc)

Q. How long will it take to get an aviation qualification (Pilot, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, ATC)?  - The simple answer is it depends on you on how much you put in. However, typically a CPL (Commercial Pilot License) will take around 18-24 months. A typical AME (Aircraft Maintenance License) will take around 24 months and a typical FULL ATC will take around 60 months. 

Q. What are the costs associated with a career in aviation?  > How much does it cost to be Pilot/Aircraft Engineer?   - Private Pilot License – around £12,000  - Commercial Pilot License – around £60,000 to £12,0000  - Aircraft Maintenance Engineer - speak to Paul Murphy at Elstree Aviation to ask about his Apprentice scheme with Brunel University

Q. Is there a grant for living costs while studying?   - Unfortunately, no. However, many employers offer an incentive to make your training less financially burdening.   > Is there a student loan (through student finance) for Pilot Training/Aircraft Engineering?   - Unfortunately, not > How much do you get paid while at internship/placement? - Varies from employer to employer around £15,000-£22,000.  > What happens if I do not complete the course? Will you pay the fees back?  - As such these are vocational qualifications, you will not be able to transfer the credits to any academic qualification. However, please ask the relevant training/employer for more information.   > Do I have to buy a new laptop/PC for studying engineering/Piloting subjects?  - Not really, you will simply need a standard PC/laptop.  > Is there on-campus accommodation?  - Some employers offer accommodation, and it might vary on where you are being trained in the country. 

Q. What skills will you learn and what’s involved?  - Hard Skills: Mechanical, Electrical, Flying, Aviation Radio Telephony Communication.  - Soft Skills: Leadership, Communication, Time Management, Teamwork, working under tight deadlines and pressure.  > Requires flexibility to spend abroad working, training, internships & placements:  - Minimum of time commitment around 2 years and willing to travel within the UK and abroad.  > Length of a working day etc: - A minimum of 2-4 hours to a maximum of 12 hours. 

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